At age four, Courtney was diagnosed with diabetes. She describes memories of her childhood including being sick frequently and missing school often. At age 16 she was given an insulin pump to help regulate her diabetes, but her condition did not improve. Upon graduating high school, Courtney had a variety of complications related to her condition, including retinopathy, neuropathy and stomach problems; however, she was told she was “not sick enough” to be added to the transplant list.
Courtney continued to face her conditions and at 35, found out she was pregnant. After being sick for most of her life and being told by numerous doctors that children would never be a part of her future, Courtney was shocked. Just three months into her pregnancy, Courtney was hospitalized for a variety of complications related to her pre-existing conditions. After delivering her son, Courtney’s kidneys began failing. She was immediately placed on the transplant list for both a kidney and a pancreas.
After two calls about possible transplants that later fell through, Courtney finally received the call that would change her life on December 23, 2018. She and her family packed their bags and rushed to the hospital, keeping in touch with the surgeons that would complete the transplant for the entire way. Courtney headed into surgery at 2:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve and has since had a full recovery. She says now, five months later, she is “happy, healthy and a non-diabetic” and is “beyond thankful to the donor and their family for allowing me to spend extra years with my son and giving me a second chance at life.”
Courtney is excited to form her own team for this year’s Walk for Kidneys and shares her story in the hopes that it will encourage others to join her in helping raise money and awareness for others affected by kidney disease.
If you're interested in joining Courtney's Walk team or supporting her as she raises money for the NKFI, visit her Walk page to get started.